There are more ways than you think to catch a cold on your PC and freeze up your computer!
Computers get infected every second with viruses all over the country, in fact, your PC may already be infected and you might not even know it. On top of that, YOU may have ASKED for it, as in literally looked for and installed it! Of course we all dread the “free MP3” download sites where everyone knows the viruses reside during the daytime, but where do they hunt? Why are they around? And who sends them to do their dirty work?
Shareware sites are not the only place to get viruses.
In fact, these days, infected PC’s have the cause (not from an mp3 or movie download) siting right in front of you on your desktop. Guess who put it there too? You did. Used to they would fight to sneak viruses, trojans, and keyloggers into funny emails that G-Ma likes to share cause it’s just so cute! But now days, they hide in the open. They appeal as FREE helpful tools with Guaranteed results, and to add to it, they do exactly what they promise to do, at first at least. Remember that last part of the oath “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”? Well, unfortunately, there is no real internet police, judges, or oaths to be followed. Hence the common pun “They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true!”. I could be lying right now, but you have full faith in this because it sounds good and informative. But I sit here and write this with no law or guidelines regulating me or fact checking me, on my own website, that I solely moderate. But rest assures, there’s no sales pitch or virus embedded in this post. Now let’s get on to the important pieces of this article.
Fun Virus Facts!
- 24 Million households experience heavy spam thanks to viruses.
- 16 Million homes recorded SERIOUS Virus problems over the last two years
- 8 Million of those had SPYWARE in the last 6 MONTHS!
- Around a Million experienced financial loss and/or had accounts hacked.
- Estimated $4.5 Billion lost to Viruses in US Homes.
- Over 40% of US homes fall victim, and that number is growing.
- One virus alone infected almost 9 Million Computers before being caught and dealt with, yet no way to 100% stop any of them from still lurking around the web.
Infections by Popularity:
And there are others, but click on the types to get detailed info on what they are and do by definition.
Where, Why, and Who?
Where Do They Come From?
Put simply, the wonderful and unregulated internet! And NO, I do not want the net regulated, but as with anything without regulation, comes anarchy and freedoms that some evils should not have access to! A lot of adware, spam, and phishing goes on in those forwarded email jokes. But a lot of them also come tagging along with the install of those “FREE” programs like video converters, browser toolbars, uncommon search engines, free games, free music downloaders, etc…. Then once you get the Adware and Pop-Ups your literally in a virtual minefield, cause one wrong click lands you a trojan, malware, or worse.
The Most natural WRONG reaction is to clean up your PC. But nobody wants to pay for ANYTHING these days. FREE FREE FREE! Well Free will cost you. Nothing that works is free! You think highly intelligent, $40+/hr developers spend weeks building a program for a company, and somehow that company that paid 10 or more developers to build it, will just put that program out there for you out of the kindness of their heart? No, no unicorns or pixie dust here. It is free because its carrying more baggage than you can imagine, and dragging that garbage all through your PC AFTER YOU PERSONALLY INVITED IT IN! And it will disable unused functions and do other back end tricks to speed up your PC (including overclocking your hardware to right before it’s breaking point) so that you think it worked, AND GO AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO GET IT!!! Now you all have viruses and malware! Then the day it’s timer goes off, all the everything it was blocking comes back, plus it adds its own personal touches, and suddenly you can’t even get far past logging in without a zillion pop ups, crashing, and loss of personal files (if your lucky). Then FREE turns into paying a professional to truly clean up your computer, and praying that you don’t lose ALL your family photos and personal documents. Nothing is free. (Well, except change you find on the ground)
Why Are They Created?
There are many Reasons a Virus or other infection are created, but to list a few, we will start here…
- Sell you something! They will either throw in subtle pop ups, or side ads, maybe even looking like part of the sites you visit, in hopes they’ll get some clicks from you. Wether or not you buy, they still get paid by the advertiser per click they generate.
- Force You Into Something! #1 mistake made is getting a pop-up that asks you to cancel or accept, because the whole pop-up is a download button in disguise! The little [X] in the top right closes it safely 99% of the time, but anywhere else is the same as you willfully downloading an additional Malware program, on top of the adware that created the pop-up!
- Obtain Important Info! So first you accidentally got adware from the free download, that later got you into trojans and Malware, and now this has your computer running slow, so you get the “Free PC Cleaner” because you thought you heard about it working, but in actuality, during the setup your giving a wolf all access to everything it needs to now log your every action and key stroke. This now sends back to the creator everything they need to hack into a back door and know more about you than you do!
- Malicious Intent! Maybe your own a business, are rich, politically affiliated, or work for a business with high profit patents. And They Want Your Intel BADDDDD. Usually these are the worst. These are the type that root in, take the important stuff, then either overclock your system so your computer fries itself and the hard drive, OR they contact you with a ransom offer that you literally have to pay, or else you lose all the stolen files to them. But really with no guarantee you’ll get back the original info after paying and/or they still won’t share it everywhere.
But as I said, theres many more reasons, but these typically cover the majority.
Who Creates Viruses?
So who creates viruses? Many viruses and other malware are created by software companies (yes, they are developed by people on payroll) intended to make money either by tricking you into buying and downloading their software, or by forcing you to look at ads (which they get paid per click) or web pages (That they are being paid to help rank up, or worse, that are fly by night sites selling bogus items then disappearing after getting tons of credit cards). Private basement hackers create bigger demons! What’s worse than the above? Malware! It can record your keystrokes, capturing information like passwords, bank log in info, and credit card numbers, which can give the author access to all kinds of information that you want kept private (even make it possible to take private photos or info hostage!). Not to mention, being armed with personal information like that, the malware developer could steal your identity, access bank accounts, and open credit cards in your name!
Of course some malware is created by people who want to damage a company or organization (like a competitor or disgruntled employee). If a virus can tie up an organization’s network or steal secret documents, it can cost them serious amounts of money. This might also be created by someone with a specific agenda.
And last but not least, the software companies send out problems so you can pay them to fix them. And the US Government was rumored to have been caught by Kaspersky (a leading Antivirus and Malware detection company) infecting tons of hard drives for “intel purposes”?